It is important for your home to be built correctly, safely, and efficiently. The soil underneath your foundation is often overlooked. This is a big mistake, because the soil plays a huge role in supporting your foundation. There are many types of soil and they each affect foundations in distinct ways.
Different Types of Soil
Clay– Clay is made up of small particles and can store water very well. When it is wet it begins to expand and it will start to shrink when it is dry. When clay is wet it can be manipulated and moved. These different changes can put pressure on foundations. It will cause them to move up and down and will eventually lead to cracks. For this reason clay is a poor choice for foundation support.
Peat– This soil is usually dark brown or black. Peat can hold a lot of water which makes it easily compressible. During the summer months it can become very dry. It could even turn into a fire hazard. Peat isn’t a good choice for foundation support due to the shifting that it does.
Sand/Gravel– This soil has the largest particle types of all the different types of soil. It is very dry and does not hold moisture very well, but it drains easily. When it is wet and compacted it holds together fairly well and can make a good foundation support. Unfortunately when it is wet it can lose its friction and be washed away. This will lead to gaps beneath the foundation.
Rock– Limestone, sandstone, bedrock, and other types of rock have high bearing loads. They are strong and can be a good foundation support due to their stability. As long as the
rock is level, the foundation will be well supported.
Loam– Loam is the optimal soil type. It is a mixture of sand, silt, and clay. Loam can maintain water at a balanced rate. It is good for supporting foundations because of its evenly balanced properties. As long as no different soils come onto the surface, loam is an ideal choice to support a foundation.
If you have any questions on these different types of soil, or if you notice any foundation issues, be sure and contact us.